2018 President's Letter


Welcome to this issue of SAMBA LINK. Thank you for logging onto our website, and I hope it provides you with the required information that you need to stay current in the ambulatory surgical care. I am writing to you as the newly elected President of SAMBA. The 33rd Annual Meeting in Miami last May was a great hit with a record attendance complimented by a customized program, wonderful weather and interactive delegates. Please provide us with your feedback so that we can plan a great meeting for next year.

One of my first assignments was to review our members serving on different committees and refresh the roster. I take this opportunity to thank all those serving on different committees including the Chairs and Vice-Chairs for providing the required force, leadership, and direction needed for SAMBA. For those whose terms on committees have ended but still would like to continue please let me know and I will be glad to reappoint you to another term.

Members of SAMBA need to know that we have effectively transitioned the SAMBA clinical outcomes registry (SCOR) to the Anesthesia Quality Institute administered by the ASA. Through their department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, SAMBA will work with the Technical Expert Panel (TEP) and via the Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) submit an application to the CMS. All members of SAMBA have already been notified to provide input for these measures. Thus, we are making very good progress on this front. At the annual meetings, we emphasize administrative and practical issues in addition to disseminating information on significant key points. An important component of the meeting is the presentation of current and active research by SAMBA members and trainees. Our scientific committee did a tremendous job this year of screening an unusually large number of submissions – those who were there at the meeting will agree that the presentations were of high quality, informative and in some instances multidisciplinary.

Leaders in Anesthesiology founded SAMBA in 1985[1]. They had realized then that the occurring advances in the perioperative care of patients would safely allow a large number of surgical procedures to be done on an ambulatory basis. This is true and in addition, our members are keenly aware that ambulatory surgical care when feasible, offers several benefits to patients. Indeed, our founders had a great vision as exemplified by recent data indicating that 48.6 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed on an ambulatory basis in 2010 in the US[2]. These numbers are only going to increase and it is good to see, as noted in this report,  that the care provided allows 95% of the patients to be routinely discharged and only 2% requiring admission (see table). At our recent annual meeting, Mary Dale Peterson, First Vice President of ASA, delivered a wonderful address and confirmed the significant increase in the use rates of ASCs when compared to hospital outpatient surgeries (see the figure from ASA). 

This has been possible because of the increasing application of new knowledge and guidelines during the care of our patients. Mary also paid tribute to Dr. Bernard Wetchler, SAMBA’s first President including others who led the way to SAMBA’s role in advancing ambulatory surgical care.

Thus, as a society, we need to do everything possible to increase provider participation in SAMBA-- to share knowledge and have a greater impact on the scientific basis for the care of ambulatory surgical patients. Most of us provide patient-specific prescribed care.

This allows us to select patients suitable for ambulatory care and permit them to return to their homes with only a minimal chance for nausea and other discomforts despite the need for any required physiotherapy or rehabilitation when this is indicated. To help our members stay up-to-date and keep up with relevant advances, a guide and learning tool will soon be available to make this easier. SAMBA’s Education Committee has created an ambulatory anesthesia handbook that is currently in press and is part of an online publication called the Anesthesia Toolbox. Information on how to access this Toolbox will soon be made available to our members.

Significant advances have also been made in Pediatric ambulatory surgical care. At our institution, we have an active sedation unit allowing us to efficiently do several pediatric ambulatory and non-OR anesthesia procedures[3]. During our annual meetings, we have usually included topics related to pediatric patients needing ambulatory procedures. At our recent meeting, I was glad to note that there were several abstracts addressing pediatric issues. We will continue to do this at future meetings.

I look forward to a productive year with all of you. Before I conclude I would like you to download the video below to listen to one of our members who has enjoyed being a SAMBA member. Please share this video with your colleagues, trainees, and relevant providers and encourage them to join SAMBA. 





[1] Philip BK. A history of the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia. Ambulatory Surgery 1993;1:77-79

[2] Hall MJ, et al. Ambulatory Surgery Data From Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers: United States, 2010. National Health Statistics Reports. Number 102, February 28, 2017

[3] Belani KG. Improvements and Opportunities for Pediatric Office-Based and Ambulatory Anesthesia Care. ASA Newsletter. Vol 76 (9) September 2012. 

Recent Stories
Scientific Papers Committee Update

Pediatric Subcommittee meeting of Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine (SASM) in San Francisco

Committee Profile: Meet the Resident Committee